To evaluate the impact of individual, system, and interpersonal factors on emergency contraception practices. We hypothesized that abortion attitudes and attitudes toward teen sex would be significant individual factors influencing emergency contraception practices.
This was a cross-sectional, anonymous Internet survey.
Four pediatric residency programs in the Baltimore, Maryland–Washington, DC, metropolitan area during April to June 2007.
One hundred forty-one pediatric residents completed the survey.
Abortion attitudes were assessed by participants' level of agreement with abortion in 7 scenarios. Attitudes toward teen sex were assessed by participants' level of agreement with 5 statements about the acceptability of teens having sex.
Main Outcome Measures
Emergency contraceptive counseling behavior was assessed by reported frequency of including emergency contraception in routine contraceptive counseling. Intention to prescribe emergency contraception was assessed by reported likelihood of prescribing in 5 scenarios.
When controlling for demographics and other predictors, residents with less favorable abortion attitudes were more likely to have the lowest intention to prescribe emergency contraception. Residents with more positive attitudes toward teen sex and who had a preceptor encourage emergency contraception prescription were more likely to include emergency contraception in routine contraceptive counseling most/all the time and to have the highest intention to prescribe.
Efforts to challenge and affect attitudes toward teen sex and to prompt residents to prescribe emergency contraception in clinical settings may be needed to encourage more proactive emergency contraceptive practice in accordance with national practice guidelines.